I’m sitting in the driver’s seat. My two year old is in the back in her car seat, losing her ever loving mind because her shoe came off.
Actually, her shoe didn’t come off, she took it off. Then she threw it onto the floor. Now she’s filled with the burning rage of a thousand suns because she only has one shoe on. She can’t reach the one on the floor to put it back on and she can’t remove the second one and throw it as well.
I’m parked here because I’m meeting a stranger to pick up Girl Scout cookies, well the why isn’t as important as the fact that I’m stuck here for at least ten more minutes. My daughter, who is now screaming for me to drive away, doesn’t care why we’re here. She just wants us to go.
Unfortunately, I can’t go anywhere.
I also can’t get her out and let her have some freedom until we can leave. At 36 weeks pregnant I don’t have the fight left in me to get her back into the car seat. Just getting her in there in the first place was a huge battle. The fight began as soon as I looked up at the clock and said, “Oh crap, we have to leave.”
She took off running like I had fired a shot at the starting line of a race. Then she fought me throughout the entire process of getting dressed. She kicked and screamed while I changed her diaper. There were tears over putting her shoes and socks on. Then a three minute chase around our kitchen because she didn’t want to put on her jacket. Every step we took was part of a dance that was equal parts frustration and exertion of will.
This is two, and it’s hard AF.
We went away as a family for the first time ever a few weeks ago. It was a little bit Baby Moon, a little bit get away to see my parent’s new place for the first time. Between my grandmother’s recent death and the impending birth of our second baby, I was really looking forward to just being away.
I needed a break from being in this house where there were so many reminders of my missing grandmother and of all of the things that need to be done before the baby gets here.
I did have a great weekend, and it was exactly the getaway that I needed exactly when I needed it. It also served another purpose, to showcase how out of control our daughter has become.
She didn’t want to be in her stroller, but she also didn’t want to walk around, she wanted to be carried.
She wanted to eat, but not what we gave her. And when she couldn’t manage to hold everything in her hands that she wanted to, all at once, she would grow frustrated and throw things on the floor.
Every time I had to put her into her car seat it took at least five minutes because she thrashed around and screamed the entire time. She was prone to shrieks and tears at any given moment.
A lack of sleep could have contributed. She stayed up late and woke up early every day. I spent two hours, both nights we were there, alone in the bedroom with her trying to get her down instead of out in the living room with everyone else.
These days I’m long on tears and short on patience. My mood swings come in swiftly and without much warning. I am grieving but also preparing to celebrate a new life. Everything is overwhelming to me right now, I can’t imagine how it all is for her.
I can identify these feelings, but she can’t. I can tell my husband that I’m sad because I miss my grandmother. I’m scared because we’re about to have another baby.
Everything is changing and I have no idea what our future holds.
A two year old can’t express those emotions, let alone process them.
All she knows is that she is full of all of these new feelings and sensations. The most important people in her life are stressed out, scared, and angry. And she doesn’t know why. She misses her Nana and she can’t say that because she doesn’t really know where she’s gone, or that she’s never coming back.
This is two, and this is grief, and it’s hard AF.
I know that it will get better because soon the baby will be here. I will know that I can handle it because I will be handling it.
The sting of the empty room that was once my grandmother’s (and is now our daughter’s) will soon fade.
Yes, our lives are up in the air right now and we have no way of knowing what the next few months hold but, does anyone ever really know what’s next?
Soon, things will get easier. Whether it’s because life will calm down or we will just get used to our new normal.
Soon two, and grief, won’t be so hard.